For the second time in three years, Greg Norman's Australian Grille was honored by Wine Spectator with its Award of Excellence.
Each year since 1981, the editors of Wine Spectator have selected a special breed of restaurants -- those that give wine a leading role in the dining experience through their wine lists. Entrants apply from around the world, and their lists are judged on the breadth, depth and scope of wines that are offered, as well as the manner in which they are served.
This year's crop of winners comprises 2,866 establishments in 46 countries. Greg Norman's Australian Grille was one of only 37 restaurants recognized in South Carolina.
"We are elated with the honor bestowed upon us by Wine Spectator," said Peter Dombrowski, Director of Operations for Greg Norman's Australian Grille. "Our objective is to provide guests with a dining experience unmatched on the Grand Strand."
Greg Norman added: "I am delighted that the Grille is once again recognized by such a prestigious publication. Since its opening in 1999, the Grille has exceeded our expectations. I am extremely proud of the product that we offer and I'm also very proud of our entire team at the Grille."
Located in Barefoot Landing, Greg Norman's Australian Grille overlooks the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and features breathtaking views. The interior has a strong Queensland influence and features authentic Australian woods such as Ipe and Black butt. The aboriginal artwork in the restaurant was handpicked by Greg and his wife, Laura, who was instrumental in the entire interior design of the 13,000 square-foot facility.
"The aboriginal artwork was something (Laura) spent a lot of time working on, and I believe the furnishings really have an Australian flare," Dombrowski said. "Much of the décor is handcrafted, from the ceiling mural painted as the Australian sky to the huge wall mural in the Shark Pub, reminiscent of the Australian Outback."
With an eclectic menu of wood-grilled classics and Australian fare, unsurpassed wine selection and the casually elegant Shark Pub, Greg Norman's Australian Grille creates the beach's most unique dining and nightspot.
The wine list totals 259 selections, including the Greg Norman Estates Shiraz, Cabernet Merlot, and Chardonnay. All are stored in a temperature-controlled wine cellar with 196 bottles clearly visible through a window in the wine room.
The Coonawarra Cabernet Merlot was given a rating of 91 (out of 100) in its debut year and praised by Wine Spectator editor Harvey Steiman for having "more intensity and pure cabernet character than many Australian wines made to sell for two or three times the price.